Ukraine’s Jamala Wins Eurovision Song Contest with Politically Charged ‘1944’

Ukraine’s Jamala won the Eurovision Song Contest Saturday with her politically charged song “1944.” It took 534 points. Australia came second with 511 points, although it was the professional jury’s favorite, while Russia arrived third with 491 points. The contest was held in Stockholm, Sweden.

Jamala’s song stirred controversy in Russia because of its political message referring to the deportation of Crimean Tartars in the Soviet Union as a form of a collective punishment for their alleged collaboration with the Nazi regime. Political songs are not allowed to feature in the contest, but the event organizers felt the song did not contain a political message.

Jamala dedicated the song to her great grand-mother who had been deported by Stalin. On receiving her award, she said: “I really want peace and love for everyone.”

A new scoring system was put in place this year distinguishing scores from the jury and the public of each country, often showing a disparity between their preferences.

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